(Editor's note: This is the website version. If you prefer to browse a paper copy, we have attached the printable PDF version below)
LWRA Turns 50!
By Tony Doob, President
The more things change, the more they stay the same. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Association. In 1963, residents on Waseosa faced an inappropriate development proposal and banded together to fight it. They also wanted to build a sense of community through social interaction and promote needed improvements to the infrastructure. Volunteers of the LWRA won the fight against the trailer park proposal, supported worthy projects such as the children's camp and Huntsville Hospital. They established the Fun Day and the Corn Roast, they convinced the Town to pave the roads and worked with the province to monitor water quality and stock the lake with fish. Pretty soon residents on the smaller lakes joined in, seeing the benefits of a strong voice for residents.
Over the years, our methods of communicating have evolved, but today finds us still facing many similar issues. We try to ensure development is appropriate both in terms of the character of the lakes and the environmental impact. We are trying to find and promote solutions for area road issues. Of course, there have been substantial changes too, and the LWRA has had to adjust with the times. Where once the area population was almost exclusively seasonal cottages clustered around the water, many have been converted to permanent residences or are used as weekend retreats throughout the year and many more permanent residences have been built on back-lots along the roads to the lakes. We expanded our social calendar to include the February "Family Day" Winter Social. We worked with other stakeholders to bring broadband to the neighbourhood. We are trying to maintain and expand public access points so our neighbours can enjoy the water too. And we are still run 100% by volunteers from this unique community.
The next 50 years will undoubtedly see us face some of the same old issues again and again but will also present us with new challenges and opportunities. One thing will always remain a constant: the need to work together and promote our common interests.
"Family Day" Winter Social
Last year's Winter Social was so much fun, we're doing it again! Family Day celebrates the importance of families and family life to people and their communities. The LWRA is planning a day of winter activities in support of this holiday on Saturday, February 16th. The Verheys will again host the gathering at 21 Cottage Lane from 12 noon till 3.
If the ice conditions permit, this will be the third year of Coffee Can Curling. It's fun for all ages and even the most experienced curler will be challenged by Lake Waseosa ice.
Snow Golf has also proved popular. No greens (we hope!), flags without holes, nine irons and spacious unobstructed fairways. Players try for a 2 foot diameter circle. The closest to the flag will determine the winner.
If physical activities sound like a way to ruin a perfectly good holiday, we will have plenty of hot chocolate, hotdogs and chilli. The venue is in a sheltered bay out of the wind. Please come and join us for an afternoon with family and friends!
Corn Roast Wrap-up
By Roxanne Bickel-Talbot, Vice President
The annual corn roast was held once again at the West's cottage and was an absolute success. The weather was lovely, the turnout unprecedented (in excess of 150 people) and the food yummy! We consumed 13 dozen cobs of corn! Despite the extra burgers this year, we ran out again. Fortunately we had ample alternatives available. Between the auction, raffle/draw, sale of L&P products and LWRA signs and food sales we raised approximately $667.00.
Trophies from the summer August Fun Day were awarded to Rick Van Watershoot, Jessica Little, Megan Salvatore, Mathew VanNoten, Catie & William Brown, Paul Caldwell & Jim Edwards, Jacob Heinz and Skye Graves. The youngsters enjoyed the lovely amenities at David and Marion's property, especially the fabulous tree house.
We were also able to welcome some new residents to the area that joined the LWRA that day.
North Waseosa Lakes Trail Proposal
By Dwayne Verhey, Secretary
We all know North Waseosa Lake Road is substandard. Area development has led to a substantial increase in traffic, including heavy truck traffic as the gravel pit expands but also pedestrian traffic as the road is in-filled with new housing. Unfortunately, the Town has many such roads, apparently some even worse than ours so they are crying poor. For the last couple of years, the LWRA has been seeking ways and funding to improve the situation including possible alternate routes and most recently, a pedestrian trail.
The response to this suggestion was quite favourable at a public meeting we sponsored last September. However we were later presented with a petition opposing it. Petitions can be very one-sided, so to verify the residents true wishes, we conducted our own survey of all those fronting the route. The response did indeed show approximately half were opposed; respecting their wishes, we withdrew the application.
One thing that did come out of this process. People living in the area note that while the dump trucks are too large for the narrow road, the dump truck drivers are, by and large, very courteous, cautious and professional. The worst drivers are often us: the people who live and vacation in the area. We are all so often focussed on getting home or getting to the cottage or "running" into town that we get the speed up, drift over the centre in the corners and otherwise fail to pay due care and attention to the task of driving. Please Drive Carefully!
We have not given up on the road conditions issue. We note that the Supreme Court recently upheld a decision finding a town responsible for injuries sustained due to poor road conditions. The ruling (Deering vs Scugog) is the latest requiring towns to determine the character, function and state of the road and assess whether persons could ordinarily travel on it in safety, exercising reasonable care. We will continue to ensure the Town is aware that they have failed to meet this standard and could be held legally liable in the event of an accident.
LWRA Membership Plaques
Many of you proudly advertise your membership with an LWRA plaque. We have annual stickers to show your continued support. The system works well if dues are paid in person, but kind of falls down when dues are paid by mail. Our treasurer has them at every event (together with your receipt!) ready for you to pick up. If that doesn't work, you can make alternate arrangements to meet Bill when it's convenient.
Wright/Jager Development Proposal
By Dwayne Verhey, Secretary
This issue is ongoing. We consulted a planning expert who confirmed that at least one aspect of the proposal is not consistent with the Town's Official Plan and Zoning By-law. We have attempted to negotiate a reasonable alternative. The owners have not been willing to compromise to date and in fact have started construction despite the appeal process.
We do still prefer a negotiated settlement, but we are prepared to go forward at the OMB hearing January 22 to 24.
If you receive this by mail, you will find enclosed a letter from the Board of Directors with more information. If you are receiving this by e-mail, you can view the letter on the website: http://www.lwra.net/important_message_dec_2012 You can review a history of this issue, including photographs of the current state of affairs at http://lwra.net/Wright-Jager
50 Year Anniversary
Did you see our new 50th Anniversary logo in the masthead? The colour version on the website looks even better. But don't you think this milestone deserves more than just a new logo? We'd like to hear your suggestions about a suitable way to mark the occasion. Please contact any Director with your ideas.
LWRA and the Internet
By Dwayne Verhey, Website Administrator
As suggested by the timeline in this issue's masthead, today's technology allows us to communicate more efficiently than ever. The LWRA makes extensive use of the internet in two separate ways. First is our "Announcement List", a way to distribute time-sensitive public service type messages. The second is our website, a way to archive important information for future reference. While the two are related, they are separate and have separate registrations.
Anyone can sign up for the e-mail announcement list at http://www.lwra.net/announcements and anyone can view "pubic' articles on the website. However, registration for website privileges such as posting comments and classified ads or reading certain confidential documents is restricted to persons such as members, family and area residents.
Because of attempts by hackers to gain access and subvert the website, we no longer offer an automated registration for the website itself. To register, you must now contact Dwayne (http://www.lwra.net/contact) to be added manually. Of course, once you are registered with the website, you can log in at will and enjoy the privileges of membership!